I made a new lane for myself and said, ‘Fuck it.’
Why Rage Against the Machine when you can just unplug it?
Phonte, “Everything is Falling Down,” Charity Starts at Home, 2011
Beef is not what Jay said to Nas;
Beef is when the working folks can’t find jobs.
Mos Def, “Beef” 12", 2003
My karma’s the comma that puts you inside of a coma,
Hyphen, dot, dot, semi-colon, leave you semi-swollen.
Question mark, you pregnant?
Oh you’re not? I love you, period.
Chino XL, “Wordsmith,” Poison Pen, 2006
Life is a blast when you know what you’re doin’,
Best to know what you’re doin’ ‘fore your life get ruined.
Life is a thrill when your skill is developed,
If you ain’t got a skill or trade, then shut the hell up.
Del the Funky Homosapien, “At the Helm,” from Hieroglyphics’ 3rd Eye Vision, 1998
I’m puttin’ pressure on you kids like I’m a soccer mom.
Vinnie Paz, “Design in Malice,” from Jedi Mind Tricks’ Violence Begets Violence, 2011
Only in America could you find a way to make a healthy buck,
And still keep your attitude on self-destruct.
MF Doom, “Rhymes Like Dimes,” Operation Doomsday, 1999
Player haters be givin’ me harsh looks,
But I’m tryin to sell records like Garth Brooks.
Big L, “Holdin’ It Down,” The Big Picture, 2000
New York City gritty committee pity the fool that act shitty in the midst of the calm, the witty.
Pharaohe Monch, “Simon Says (Get the Fuck Up),” Internal Affairs, 1999
$5 gas and poverty rates are rising much higher than your hourly rate.
So if you thinkin about quittin, you should probably wait,
Cause everybody has to do a fuckin job that they hate.
Phonte, “The Good Fight,” Charity Starts at Home, 2011
You gotta school these young macks comin’ up today…
I mean to be ‘frank’, they just hot dogs,
The girls are relish, and they need to catchup on they pimpin’.
Big Daddy Kane, “Nightshift,” from Positive K’s The Skills Dat Pay Da Bills, 1992
When I met you it was magic…
We polar opposites, but attracted like we was magnets.
Talib Kweli, “Beautifully Bad,” from Idle Warship’s Habits of the Heart, 2011
First of all, who’s your A&R?
A mountain climber who plays an electric guitar?
But he don’t know the meaning of dope,
When he’s lookin for a suit and tie rap
That’s cleaner than a bar of soap!
And I’m the dirtiest thing in sight,
Matter of fact, bring out the girls and let’s have a mud fight.
GZA, “Protect Ya Neck,” from Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993
I learned more from Black Star and Black Thought
Than I ever did from any class of any sort.
Toine, “The Struggle Is Real,” from DTMD’s Makin’ Dollas, 2011
Don’t quote me boy, cause I ain’t said shit.
Eazy-E, “Boyz-N-The-Hood,” N.W.A. & The Posse, 1987
Nothin’ taken for granted, just learn from my mistakes.
My will too strong, my spirit’s somethin’ they can’t take.
Slim The Mobster, “South Central Blues,” War Music, 2011
Never been to Sesame Street but I flip a Big Bird.
And I know “stealers” and they not from Pittsburgh…
Cam’Ron, “357,” Confessions of Fire, 1998
Am I really just a narcissist,
Cause I wake up to a bowl of lobster bisque?
Rick Ross, “I Love My Bitches,” God Forgives, I Don’t, 2011
There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s gotta handle up on his own.
Can’t depend on friends to help you in a squeeze,
Please…they got problems of their own.
Slim Kid Tre, “Runnin’”, from Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia, 1995
And while you was bangin on tables, I was bangin Snow White.
Parrish Smith, “Rampage”, from EPMD’s Business as Usual, 1991
The more emotion I put into it, the harder I rock.
O.C., “Time’s Up,” Word…Life, 1994
We all seem to stumble, planning our own demise,
Getting the big picture, and making it wallet-sized.
Kendrick Lamar, “Growing Apart (To Get Closer),” Overly Dedicated, 2010
Nowadays, crazy ass bitches want they bills paid,
But can’t even make a good thing of Kool Aid.
Ice Cube, “The Gutter Shit,” War and Peace Vol. 2, 2000
Abraham Lincoln got shot and died,
Freed the slaves so they put him on the five.
Too $hort, “Money In The Ghetto,” Get In Where You Fit In, 1993
If you turn on TV, all you see’s a bunch of ‘what the fucks.’
‘Dude is dating so and so,’ blabberin about ‘such and such.’
And that ain’t Jersey Shore, homie that’s the news.
And these the same people supposedly tellin us the truth.
Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist
Gaza Strip was gettin bombed, Obama didn’t say shit.
That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either,
I’m a part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful
And I believe in the people.
Lupe Fiasco, “Words I Never Said,” Lasers, 2011
A flower that grow in the ghetto know more about survival than the one from fresh meadows.
Talib Kweli, “Love Language,” from Reflection Eternal’s Train of Thought, 2000
…But when we got a good thing, can’t appreciate it,
Just like the chick I had on my team, was everything on my wish list.
Spendin’ holidays, Valentine’s and Christmas.
Now I’m in the club looking at other broads, like:
“I gave up home-cooked meals for this shit?”
“I gave up all them back rubs for this bitch?”
The whole damn thing is bass ackwards…
Phonte, “Too Late For Us,” Babygrande Presents Beat Down Vol 1, 2010
Just say the word, I’ll leave your DNA on the curb,
And stick my dick in your ear and fuck what you heard.
Rakim, “I’ll Buss Em, You Punish Em,” from Canibus’ 2000 B.C., 2000
Think about it, if you was there standing looking at me.
What would you do, if I hit your face with dog doo-doo?
Dr. Octagon, “I’m Destructive,” Dr. Octagonecologyst, 1996
Hip-hop is universal now, it’s all commercial now.
It’s like a circle full of circus clowns up in the circuit now.
Eminem, “If I Get Locked Up,” from Funkmaster Flex and Big Kap’s The Tunnel, 1999
True originator, innovator and creator,
Thinkin’ independent but I’m sayin’ something major.
One Be Lo, “Sheep’s Clothing,” LABOR, 2011
Rappers on their sophomores…actin’ like they boss lords.
Fame’s such a funny thing for sure when niggas start believing all those encores.
Pusha T, “Don’t Fuck Wit Me,” Dreams Money Can Buy Freestyle, 2011
You just met me, you won’t let me…
Well if I couldn’t have it, silly rabbit, why you sweating me?
2Pac, “I Get Around,” Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., 1993
Yo Premier, why these rappers so soft?
They corny ass raps be makin me doze off.
KRS-One, “Criminal Minded ‘08," Smirnoff Signature Mix Series, 2008
Makin’ veterans run for medicine,
Cause I put out more lights in a fight than ConEdison.
Kool G. Rap, “The Symphony,” from Marley Marl’s In Control Vol. 1, 1988
We don’t just say “No”, we too busy sayin’ “Yeah!”
To drinkin’ straight out the eight bottle…
Do I look like a muthafuckin’ role model?!
Ice Cube, “Gangsta Gangsta,” from N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton, 1988
Life without knowledge is death in disguise.
Talib Kweli, “K.O.S.,” from Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, 1998
Yeah, I cut class…I got a D.
Cause History meant nothing to me
Except a definite nap.
That’s why I always sat in the back.
Mike G., “Acknowledge Your Own History,” from Jungle Brothers’ Done by the Forces of Nature, 1989
When I went to school I carried lunch in a bag
With an apple for my teacher ‘cause I knew I’d get a kiss.
Always got mad when the class was dismissed.
Romye, “Passin Me By,” from The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ryde II the Pharcyde, 1992
You wake up late for school, man you don’t wanna go!
You ask your mom “Please?” but she still says “No!”
You missed two classes, and no homework,
But your teacher preaches class like you’re some kind of jerk!
Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right (to Party),” Licensed to Ill, 1986
Teach the student what needs to be taught.
‘Cause black and white kids both take shorts
When one doesn’t know about the other one’s culture,
Ignorance swoops down like a vulture.
KRS-One, “You Must Learn,” from Boogie Down Production’s Ghetto Music – The Blueprint of Hip-Hop, 1989
Where you been at?
You must’ve cut class.
If it ain’t me, another member of my crew will kick your ass.
Prodigy, “The Start of Your Ending (41st Side),” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 1995 (submitted by @prisco_inferno)
What is the meaning of C.L.A.S.S.?
Is it a Conspiracy Levelled At Sleepy Students trying to pass?
MC Paul Barman, “School Anthem,” It’s Very Stimulating, 2000
I stay dipped like the first day of school.
Cappadonna, “MCF,” The Pillage, 1998
Get burnt like a candle, very hard to handle,
Do miracles in Nikes like Jesus did in sandals.
MF Grimm, “Take ‘Em To War,” Scars & Memories, 2005 (Probably first recorded in 1995)